An Event Apart Washington DC 2018 Special Edition!

Three days of design, code, and content

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Event Schedule

  1. Arrival Day

  2. Early registration/Badge pick-up

    Avoid the check-in line Monday morning by checking in Sunday afternoon outside the main ballroom. We’ll be fully staffed to get you checked in for the event, and to answer any questions you might have. Be the first to get all the goodies and breeze straight into the ballroom the next morning!

  1. Day 1

  2. Attendee Check-in/Badge Pick-up

  3. Breakfast

  4. Morning Welcome

  5. Beyond Engagement: the Content Performance Quotient

    Our products are tasked with providing ever-higher levels of “engagement.” But should they be? For many sites, analytics demonstrating high levels of “engagement” may actually be signs of failure. AEA co-founder and longtime web designer Zeldman introduces a new measurement of design success: the content performance quotient. Learn how relentlessly cutting needless content and architecture, fine-tuning UX and UI, and shoring up technical performance can create improved experiences that are better attuned to today’s web… and how to sell this profound change in design thinking to your bosses, clients, and colleagues.

  6. Digital Marketing Strategies for the Busy “Web Master”

    Reaching through the screens of our customers and holding their attention is becoming increasingly difficult thanks to the pace at which online content now moves and our dwindling attention spans. Nowadays the job of the multi-faceted web designer is to not only know the latest techniques for building in Grid but also know how to get that work seen amongst the saturated world of digital marketing. In this talk Sarah will be discussing the idea of quarterly website design reviews with a “design once use everywhere” mantra, plus digging into the ever changing world of Instagram algorithms, Facebook marketing, and topical social media takeaways for immediate implementation.

  7. Scenario-Driven Design Systems

    Unified design systems are essential to building, maintaining, and evolving our sites and products. By empowering disparate teams via a common visual and UX language, they help us create cohesive user experiences. But creating a unified system that scales to serve a variety of content and use cases can be challenging. Sharing insights from her experience creating a unified design system for eight media brands with eight distinct editorial strategies, Yesenia will show how to approach a design system via a user-centered lens. Learn how being scenario-driven helps you design a scalable system that responds flexibly to specific contexts.

  8. Graduating to Grid

    When CSS Grid Layout shipped into multiple browsers in the Spring of 2017 it heralded the dawn of a new way to do layout on the web. Now that the excitement of launch has passed, Rachel Andrew will take a look at what went right or wrong in these first few months, and offer help to those struggling to transition away from legacy methods. In a practical, example-packed hour, Rachel will help give you the confidence and practical skills to fully embrace Grid layout. We’ll compare common framework patterns to new Grid code, and learn how to create a workflow that is right up to date—a workflow grounded in new CSS, yet able to care for old browsers and ensure a good experience for their users.

  9. Fit For Purpose: Making Sense of the New CSS

    The past year has seen an incredible explosion in what we can do with CSS—from stable flexbox to the dawn of Grid, there are more powerful tools in our toolbox than ever before. Each system is, in its own way, simple, but the multitude of choices can make your head spin. What are the pros and cons? Where are the strengths and weaknesses? How does a committed craftsperson choose? In this detailed talk, Eric will compare and contrast CSS features in a series of real-world design scenarios, illuminating not only what he chose in each situation, but more importantly, why, always with an eye on what trade-offs were made at what cost. You’ll come away with a better sense of how to put all these new CSS features to work for you right away.

  10. Everything You Know About Web Design Just Changed

    2017 saw a sea change in web layout, one that few of us have truly come to grips with. We’re standing at the threshold of an entirely new era in digital design—one in which, rather than hacking layouts together, we can actually describe layouts directly. The benefits will touch everything from prototyping to custom art direction to responsive design. In this visionary talk, rooted in years of practical experience, Jen will show you how to understand what’s different, learn to think through multiple stages of flexibility, and let go of pixel constraints forever.

  11. Opening Night Happy Hour

    Join us at A Happy Hour Apart, to be held right outside the main auditorium. We’ll provide tasty snacks and tastier beverages to recharge your body after a full day of recharging your mind!

  12. Special Screening: “Tim’s Vermeer”

    Tim Jenison founded NewTek in 1985, where he led the way in the development of a series of highly successful products, including DigiView (one of the first video digitizers for a computer), DigiPaint, and the Video Toaster®. Spurred by a growing obsession, he attempts to solve one of the greatest mysteries in all art: How did 17th century Dutch Master Johannes Vermeer (“Girl with a Pearl Earring”) manage to paint so photo-realistically—150 years before the invention of photography? The epic research project Jenison embarks on to test his theory is as extraordinary as what he discovers. Spanning eight years, Jenison’s adventure takes him to Delft, Holland, where Vermeer painted his masterpieces; on a pilgrimage to the North coast of Yorkshire to meet artist David Hockney; and even to Buckingham Palace to see a Vermeer masterpiece in the collection of the Queen.

    “An exquisitely fun documentary.” – Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

    “A fascinating new documentary about art, obsessions, ideas and answers.” – Betsy Sharkey, The Los Angeles Times

  1. Day 2

  2. Breakfast

  3. Attendee Check-in/Badge Pick-up

  4. Morning Welcome

  5. Tech Humanism: Data, Meaning, and Human Experience

    With so much emphasis in business on artificial intelligence, automation of various kinds, and digital transformation, the future of human work — and even humanity itself — can feel uncertain. And while we often talk about user experience, customer experience, patient experience, and so on, we rarely consider what a truly integrated human experience might look and feel like. But “Tech Humanist” Kate O’Neill presents the case for why the future of humanity is in creating more meaningful, dimensional, and integrated experiences, and how emerging technologies like chatbots, wearables, IoT devices, and more can be included in this kind of human-centric design. While weaving in examples from a range of industries, applications, and even pop culture, Kate offers an inspiring and useful framework for designers, strategists, or anyone creating experiences for humans.

  6. Why Design Systems Fail

    Design systems are hot right now, and for good reason. They promote a modular approach to building a product, promote organizational unity, and ensure stability via reusable code snippets and utility styles. They make prototyping a breeze, and provide a common language for both designers and developers. But sometimes design systems are underutilized within organizations. Why is that, when they’re so darn useful? In an engaging hour, Una will draw on years of experience to explore what makes design systems successful, analyze real examples of success and failure, and show how to make sure your design system has the building blocks it needs to grow into a successful product.

  7. Til Launch Do Us Part

    From one designer to a front-end developer: I’m so grateful for you. You take my pretty pictures and turn them into real-live websites and applications; you convert ideas and sketches into real things that people can use. And even despite that superpower, you rarely get the respect you deserve. It’s time for that to change. No longer will I throw my comps over the proverbial wall for you to blindly build. I’ll change my process for you. Let’s sketch together more to be more efficient and effective as a team. Let’s decide in the browser more. I’ll learn to write JSON for you. Let’s share stories about new, more modern ways of shipping products at higher quality in record time. This is gonna be great!

  8. Same Bat-Time! Same Bat-Channel!

    What connects Batman, Wonder Woman, Thomas Edison, Madonna, Bazooka Joe, and Alfred E. Neuman? Is it type?! Is it graphic design?! Who is Peter Cooper? Tune in to this very special, inspirational lunchtime presentation by Mike Essl, Dean of The Cooper Union School of Art, and find out!

  9. Navigating Team Friction

    Friction is a common, and necessary, part of team growth--but when left unchecked, team friction is unhealthy for you, your coworkers, your company, and ultimately your end users. In this engaging talk, Lara will draw on her experiences at organizations large and small to illuminate the sources of team tension, how you can better understand and manage unexpected teammate reactions, and the best ways to give actionable feedback without escalating drama. You’ll walk away with tactics you can employ immediately to address and improve your relationship with your teammates. Your coworkers, your organization, your users, and you will reap the benefits.

  10. Designing Progressive Web Apps

    If you have a website—particularly one that generates revenue for your organization—you need a Progressive Web App. So where do you begin? How do you decide which features of a Progressive Web App make sense for your users? What tools can make the process easier (or harder)? In this practical session, Jason will guide you through the key design decisions you’ll need to make about your Progressive Web App and how those decisions impact the scope of your project. He'll also teach you how to avoid common pitfalls and help you take full advantage of Progressive Web App technology.

  11. Performance as User Experience

    Design is problem solving. Each and every day, we are tasked with finding ways to reduce the friction our users experience on the Web. That means streamlining flows, reducing cognitive load, and writing more appropriate copy, but user experience goes far beyond the interface. Our users’ experiences begin with their first request to our servers. In this intensely practical session, Aaron will explore the ins and outs of page load performance by showing how he made the web site of the 10K Apart meet its own contest rules, by having a site that was functional and attractive even without JavaScript, and was less than ten kilobytes at initial load. You’ll walk away with a better understanding of the page load process as well as numerous ways you can improve the projects you are working on right now.

  1. Day 3

  2. Breakfast

  3. Attendee Check-in/Badge Pick-up

  4. Morning Welcome

  5. Inclusive Design’s Hidden Legacy—And How To Rise With It

    Passionate creatives obsess over every choice made, but there are so many they don’t realize they’re making. We dream of building experiences everyone will love, but unconsciously design them in ways that aren’t accessible to all. In this session, we'll explore critical choices design teams must get right to deliver higher quality, more inclusive experiences. Most designers are never taught the techniques to create accessible user experiences—raise the bar by raising your awareness. Find inspiration in a hidden history of creatives whose work broke down barriers with strikingly humane solutions.

  6. The Four Divine Beasts of Accessibility

    Accessibility is hard. Oftentimes, it’s difficult to understand what users and assistive technology expect from your markup and designs. Can accessibility be easier to learn? Can it be…fun? In this engaging talk, Dave will approach accessibility the way we might tackle a video game—looking at a handful of common UI patterns like popup, tabs, accordions, and modals; how to test them; and how to defeat them while leveling up your skillset along the way.

  7. Inclusive UX: Techniques for Everyone

    You and your teams are doing the things that need to be done to create inclusive designs. You’ve been using meaningful, semantic markup from the get-go. You stopped using light grey on slightly darker grey text years ago. Designing and building your apps and sites in an accessible way is just how you work now—you have to try really hard to make things that don’t work with a keyboard. So, what’s next for you? How can you make sure that you’re delivering on the promise of the web by delivering an inclusive design that can be easily used by people with disabilities? In this talk, Derek will tackle the tougher problems through design approaches and practical development techniques that you need to create accessible, modern web sites.

  8. I Just Had the Worst Best Meeting

    You make the world better through great design. You want to spend more time creating that world and less time explaining the basics, defending your choices, and selling the best approaches in meetings. But in meetings is where you find yourself, and it feels like they often introduce friction, ambiguity, and drag. We can just as easily make meetings better by applying what we already know about design. We understand how to integrate design thinking into our process, the value of drawing ideas, and how to properly structure content. With a simpler planning process, a whiteboard marker, good stories, and a few easy templates for building arguments, friction will be replaced with productive tension that creates clarity, speed, and confidence.

  9. Designing an Intuitive Navigation

    Confusing menus and links are the number one issue people have in getting stuff done in digital. Sure, search is critical but even the best search usually only jumps you down a few levels in the navigation hierarchy. To complete your task you nearly always have to click more, and selecting the right link is where so many people get frustrated, confused and annoyed. Learn about methods to reduce confusion and increase speed and simplicity for your customers. Learn how to use evidence to uncover the core navigational mental models within people’s minds and to create intuitive interfaces based on these mental models. Learn how to apply essential navigational principles such as: Familiarity, Unity, Essentiality, and Forward-Focus.

An Event Apart Washington DC 2018 has completely sold out. We’re sorry we couldn’t fit you in, but you can still join us at one of our upcoming shows!

Location

Sheraton Pentagon City
900 South Orme Street Arlington, VA 22204

The Sheraton Pentagon City has arranged special room rates with complimentary in-room internet access for AEA attendees, starting at just $179/night. To get these savings, please use our special reservation page or call (800) 325-3535 and request the “special An Event Apart room rate.” Limited rooms are available at this rate, so don’t delay.

With fantastic views of the nation’s capital, the Sheraton Pentagon City is conveniently located just minutes from Washington, D.C., Pentagon City Metro, Crystal City, Georgetown, and Old Towne Alexandria. Located just off Interstate 395 and Washington Blvd., it’s surrounded by a variety of ethnic restaurants, fabulous shopping, and great entertainment. Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA) is just five miles from the hotel, which offers a complimentary shuttle to and from the airport. Enjoy swimming in the enclosed, rooftop, heated pool or work up a sweat at Sheraton Fitness, a state-of-the-art fitness center.